It’s about time something was posted about using texture layers – I’ve already posted loads of shots with this type of post processing, sometimes so subtle that it’s hardly visible.
Starting with a few where it’s very visible:-
There are two main layer images added to this Lensbaby shot – one to enhance the stonework (which was a shot of rust), and one to give the brighter tones some texture. The images are blended together and then the layers ‘flattened’ to give the final effect. The interaction of the out of focus areas and the layers is very attractive.
To achieve this effect you’ll need to ‘layer’ one or more shot on top of the other in Photoshop.
The easiest way I’ve found is to open the main picture and the texture images then drag a texture image over the main image from the ‘Projects’ floating toolbar. Resize the texture image to be the same size as the main image beforehand – this helps a lot!
The ‘Layers’ floating toolbar will then give various blending options such as ‘Overlay’ and ‘Soft Light’ – just have a play about with the options and the opacity of the layers and you’ll get the hang of it.
This next one is another Lensbaby shot with some strong layering to give a scratched/blotchy appearance. The Lensbaby plus layers combination is very nice!
And finally a more subtle one – a soft green texture with a vignette around the edge. The texture has the effect of altering the tone curve and the colours which, if you get it right, can make the image look a lot better without looking over processed.
I’ve gone a bit ‘Gothic’ here – probably because these types of shot suit more extreme layering. One you get used to this as a normal part of post processing it’s easy to build up a library of textures from free downloads or texture shots you take yourself.
There’s a detailed free tutorial here if anyone wants to see the process in more detail.
Give it a try – it can really add a special look to your images – especially for book cover stock. It’s also good for hiding dust and scratches on film images, and for adding some colour to black and white shots.
Hope you find this useful and thanks for looking!